It is remarkable that anyone pays attention to the mass of pundits, both left and right, who have gotten so much so wrong in this election cycle. You'd think after three or five or even 10 goofs, the pundits would be more sheepish and the readers and viewers more wary.
Here’s a brief recap of some of the media assertions, delivered with great certitude, which proved to be dead wrong.
1. Romneycare would prevent Mitt Romney from getting the nomination.
2. Romneycare would prevent Romney from making an argument against Obamacare.
3. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was a sure thing.
4. The GOP would pick a tea party favorite as its nominee.
5. Romney’s $10,000 “bet” in a primary debate was going to wreck his campaign.
6. Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s “Etch-a-sketch” remark was going to kill Romney’s chances.
7. Romney’s remark about owning two Cadillacs was going to doom him in Michigan.
8. Romney’s comment that he was most concerned about the middle class and not the very poor who have a safety net, which may need fixing, was going to cripple him.
9. Romney’s Bain experience would kill his campaign.
10. Romney’s foreign trip would kill his campaign.
11. Romney would have to release more than two years of his tax returns.
12. Romney’s remarks on the embassy attacks were the most important issue and would kill his campaign.
13. The Democratic National Convention bounce for President Obama was meaningful.
14. Clint Eastwood was a disaster.
15. Picking Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as a VP was a mistake
You do have to wonder if anything the media have propounded as political wisdom has been right. No one gets everything right in a campaign, but if a pundit or reporter got most of these wrong, why pay any attention?
Here we sit with Romney as the presidential nominee. Ryan energized his ticket, was a hit with the base and has put Wisconsin in play. None of the supposed “gaffes” have changed the course of the race. Romney never released more tax returns than he initially promised. Eastwood’s “empty chair” was a hit with the base. The DNC bounce is gone. One of the most effective arguments the Republicans have made is that Obama took $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. Obama fell in foreign policy approval in the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, and attention is now turned to whether the administration was lying when it said the attacks were spontaneous and all about an anti-Muslim movie.
So when the media mavens on the right and left are in hysterics over Romney’s 47 percent remarks, think how accurate the media’s judgment has been. Consider whether the pundits think everything is a disaster for Romney and just don’t like him.
You might say the biggest inaccuracy the media have come up with is the notion that they matter. They have proved to be more tone deaf and irrelevant than most conservatives even imagined.